From the Bishop of Chelmsford:
“This time of pandemic and crisis in the life of our nation and diocese has placed tremendous demands on all those in ministry. While we are starting to emerge from the various lockdowns, we continue to live with the virus and will do so for some time to come. How we learn to live in this time of transition and uncertainty, attending to one another with kindness and seeking one another’s well-being is an important task.
I am thankful for the prayerful and creative ways you have responded to the call to continue to serve Christ’s people; faithfully worshipping, deepening discipleship, in loving service to our many communities.
Attending to this life of vocation and service is demanding. Ministerial Development Reviews are an important opportunity to pause, reflect, and notice what God has done and continues to do in our lives and communities. However, the context of our vocation and service is in transition and our MDR scheme needs to recognise that.
This simplified MDR scheme is pared back to enable us over the next few years to have a process that is simpler, less paper heavy and concentrates on well-being and recovery. We have purposefully reduced the preparatory requirements and set a limited number of ‘big’ questions that give space for reflection and discussion. Additional resources to help inform the review process are available, but these are now optional and set in the appendices of the MDR with Diocesan Reviewers booklet. Please discuss with your reviewer which resources, if any, you would find it helpful to utilise as part of your MDR. We are thankful for our Diocesan Reviewers, for their gift of service and the time they offer. The MDR with Senior Staff, like the MDR with Diocesan Reviewer, has a simplified focus with space for reflection and discussion.
Alongside the booklet, we have also simplified the process so that you will be contacted in good time to arrange your MDR and you will be sent the relevant booklet at that time. While this new simplified MDR scheme is in operation, we will be conducting a longer-term review of our approach to ministerial development; learning from the best of what is offered across the Church of England and from this new simplified approach.
A Ministerial Development Review is only one aspect of the relationship of mutual care and support that we offer one another across the life of our diocese. Please continue to speak to us directly and regularly, as bishops and archdeacons we are here to enable you in your life of vocation and service.”